THE All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) organized a convention on ‘Oppression against Women and Challenges facing us’ at Byron Bazaar, Raipur on 2 November 2019. Women from various districts in Chhattisgarh participated in the convention.
The convention was addressed by Uma Netam, Manisha, Gunvati Baghel, Suman Sahu, Namrata Patel, Chandrika Kaushal, Raj Kumari, Meena Kosre, Suhadra Dhritlahre, Vandana Bairagi, Narottam Sharma of CPIML, Ashok Miri of AICCTU, Archana Edgar and others. The main speaker was AIPWA National General Secretary Meena Tiwari. She said that women are the worst affected by the impact of recession and unemployment. The Central government is using the strategy of hate mongering and divisive politics to divert the people’s attention from the real and basic issues. The BJP’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ (Save and Educate Daughters) is nothing but cruel hypocrisy. This government is constantly encouraging superstition and unscientific temper. Budgets for health and education are being relentlessly cut. She further said that unprecedented sexual violence is being unleashed on adivasi women in the Bastar Division in Chhattisgarh in the name of curbing Maoism and these women are deprived of even the most fundamental justice. Human rights activists and lawyers who try to help the adivasis in Bastar are being hounded incessantly, false cases are slapped against them and they are arrested without any basis, as happened in the case of Sudha Bharadwaj, Soni Sori, Bela Bhatia and many others.
The convention passed a resolution with 9 demands. The recent incident of hounding of an interfaith couple at Dhamtari in the name of ‘love jihad’ was strongly condemned and the convention demanded that the government should guarantee full security to the couple and ensure that consenting couples are not hounded and stopped from spending their lives together. The convention also demanded that education for women up to graduation should be made free of cost, more colleges should be opened in the State and an adequate number of teachers should be appointed.
A 19-member Coordination Committee was formed at the convention with Lakshmi Krishnan as coordinator.